MAGS' Boy Dux Artium of 2014, Liam Ferguson, has a lead role in Auckland University's Summer Shakespeare production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Liam, who was Head Boy and awarded the top mark in New Zealand for his Scholarship Drama examination - 100% - had the lead role in the school production of the same play last year, playing Oberon. In the Summer Shakespeare production he plays Lysander.
The play is directed by renowned actor and director Michael Hurst, who has brought the story into a modern day environment.
"The feel of it is very 'groovy'," says Liam, "There's a bar, a live band and the characters all look like vintage-dressed hipsters. It's quite a dark, adult take on the story."
This is the fourth time Liam has acted in the play, the two earlier occasions were at primary school and in Year 11, and he says Shakespeare is so flexible to interpret that every production has felt like a completely different play.
When the play's run finishes Liam will be straight into studying on the pre-Medicine course at Auckland University, but says he intends to continue acting in his spare time.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, behind the University of Auckland Clock Tower, 22 Princes Street, 13 February-7 March, click here for information and tickets
There was a fine turnout of former students, teachers and Headmasters at the annual Old Boys' Christmas Luncheon, held at School House on Thursday, 4 December. It was followed by the Albertians Association AGM.
Aftab Moosa, Maurice Hall, Graham Burgess, Ben Stallworthy
Tuesday, 21 October, marked 50 years since Albertian Sir Peter Snell won Gold in the
800m and 1500m at the Tokyo Olympics. He remains one of only two men to
complete the 800m-1500m double at the same Games.
Sir Peter attended MAGS from 1955-1957, and was later trained by fellow Albertian Arthur Lydiard.
Sir Peter came to MAGS from Te Aroha District High School as a fifth former. He not only excelled at athletics, but was also in the First XV, the First XI, was Senior Tennis Champion and Victor Ludorum in 1957. That same year he was a School Prefect and House Prefect.
He made his home in the United States, where he gained a PhD and specialised in sports medicine.
Wednesday, 15 October, was an historic day for Mount Albert Grammar School - our first former girl student, Silver Fern Maria Tutaia, was inducted into the Hall of Distinction.
In a moving ceremony filled with warmth and humour, Maria's citation was read by her coach from when she captained MAGS' first Premier Netball Team in 2004, Ms Te Aroha Keenan. Ms Keenan still oversees MAGS' netball programme, and the Netball Academy and Premier players, dressed in netball uniform, formed a guard of honour through which Maria entered and left the FW Gamble Hall.
The Hall was filled with Year 9 and Year 13 students, Maria's parents Sam and Niukini, sister Rina, former team-mates, coaches and friends, and the ceremony attended by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr Greg Moyle, President of the Albertians' Association Mr Ben Stallworthy, Headmaster Mr Dale Burden, Deputy Headmaster Mr Paul McKinley, Director of the MAGS Foundation Mr Tim Kay and former Headmaster Mr Greg Taylor.
Maria spoke warmly of Mr Taylor, pictured at left with her and Mr Burden, and how he helped engender the values of acceptance and respect for which she remembers the school.
"He would chat to me every week about how netball was going," says Maria. "Taking the first Premier team to Nationals and coming fourth, when we had come from nowhere, is a memory I'll keep for my lifetime."
Maria wore a MAGS skirt, blazer and tie in honour of the school, and told the gathered students that they were privileged to attend what she considers the best school in the country.
"I wear this uniform on behalf of the dignitaries sitting on the stage with me, for the students who have come before us, some of whom have their names on the walls around you, and in honour of my family. This school has pride, respect and heart - it taught me to learn, strive and have a real crack. Mental toughness wins games, and in life you will face hardships and if you don't have mental toughness you won't succeed.
"Decide what grows you, serves you, and in the end makes you happy. If I can get my name on these boards there's no reason why any of you can't do the same. It's an honour to have my name forever a part of this school."
MAGS' oldest Albertian, Mr Connell Percy (Con) Thode, died on 9 October aged 103.
Mr Thode, who attended MAGS from 1925-1926, was a Lieutenant Commander in the New Zealand Navy and the only New Zealander to be given command of a Royal Navy submarine during World War II. He was later a dedicated supporter of the Spirit of Adventure Trust.
Mr Thode was inducted into the MAGS Hall of Distinction in 2010 for services to yachting and the navy. He is pictured here with his son, Scott, at an Old Old Boys' Luncheon in 2012.
His funeral was held at St Christopher's Chapel, HM Naval Base, Devonport on Wednesday, 15 October, the same day as the youngest Member of the Hall of Distinction, Silver Fern Maria Tutaia, was inducted.
MAGS old boy Oliver Sail has been selected for the All Whites squad for November’s tour to China and Thailand.
The 18-year-old goalkeeper has already been to China this year with the U20 New Zealand side, where he was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament, and over winter added an ASB Chatham Cup semi-final with Central United FC to his rapidly-growing football CV.
"When you’re a kid and playing football you dream of playing for your country so it’s awesome to get to that stage so soon," he told the Football NZ website. "But I certainly want to go further. I want to have a long career playing for New Zealand."
Oliver, who is the son of MAGS teacher and Cricket Academy Director Mr Tony Sail, recently moved to Wellington to link with the Phoenix ahead of the club's entry into the ASB Premiership. He is also looking forward to New Zealand hosting the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2015.
Laurelin Okan (2008-2011) has won a $10,000 Unitec scholarship to further develop an app she designed for people with heart disease.
Called HEART (Heart Emergency App Recognition Technology), Laurelin's app measures heart rate and function to detect when a dangerous heart rhythm or heart attack might occur, and will alert medics such as the ambulance service.
Laura, now 21, has hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, a disease that affects the muscle of the heart and can lead to cardiac arrest. She hopes the app will help more people like her with heart disease gain help quickly after a heart attack.
Now studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Auckland University, Laurelin says she came up with the idea for the app as part of an assignment to design a solution to a world-wide problem.
"I'm not a very techy person at all - I was more of an English and Classics student at MAGS - so I got techy people to do the computer side," says Laurelin. "I had the idea and hope to be able to market and sell it eventually."
The Unitec Success Scholarship will help her develop the project to the point where it could be a commercial proposition.
David Tuipulotu (2008-2012) called into MAGS to say goodbye to a few favourite teachers before his departure for China on 18 September.
David came second in a New Zealand universities' Chinese language competition, winning a one-semester scholarship to study at a university of his choice in China. He chose Tsinghua University in Beijing, where he will study Chinese language and literature.
David, now 20, was a star student of Ms Eva Liu during his time at MAGS, winning a number of language competitions. He is now working on a degree in Arts and Theology at Auckland University. He has a particular interest in Chinese history, and would eventually like to work with Chinese historians, or as a lecturer in Asian history.
Albertian cricketer Georgia Guy (2007-2011) is making her mark with the White Ferns on their tour of the West Indies.
In her debut international - the opening One Day match in St Kitts on Saturday, 13 September - Georgia claimed 2 for 26 from 8.1 overs. In the following One Day game she took 1 for 27 from 10 overs.
Earlier this year Georgia travelled to Bangladesh with the NZ T20 squad.
MAGS' Director of Cricket, Mr Tony Sail, says Georgia was the only girl to have so far been a member of the MAGS Cricket Academy, and went on the junior cricket tour to Australia where she successfully bowled off-spin against male opponents.
A host of MAGS old boys are starring in provincial teams for the ITM Cup 2014 season.
All Black Steven Luatua and Gafatasi Su'a are playing for Auckland, Elias "Jack" Goodhue joins Milford Keresoma in the Canterbury team in only his first year out of high school, and Albert Nikoro has already made national news with a 59 metre penalty kick for Waikato.
Jack Goodhue, who scored a try on debut against Waikato on 22 August, plays against his home province of Northland this evening, Thursday, 28 August, at AMI Stadium in Christchurch. The game starts at 7.35pm and will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 1.
Former student Joanne Olsen is playing three different characters in That Woman, a play about cosmetics doyennes Helen Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, now showing at the Dolphin Theatre in Onehunga.
Jo (pictured at right), now 20, attended MAGS from 2007-2011 and is pursuing her passion for acting between studies in Early Childhood Education. In this play she portrays an office girls, a secretary and a French singer.
"This is a fun show, great for any age group," says Jo. "Come and see for yourself. I guarantee you will love seeing it as much as I love being in it."
That Woman runs until August 23. More details here
Josh Bayliss, the CEO of Virgin Group, was named Albertian of the Year at the annual Albertians Reunion Dinner on Thursday, 3 April.
Mr Bayliss travelled from his base in Geneva especially for the occasion, held at the Northern Club in central Auckland, and attended by fellow Albertians, Headmaster Dale Burden (pictured), Board of Trustee members, staff and parents. Mr Bayliss's parents Carolyn and Peter and brother Jake were also present.
"This is a truly wonderful honour," said Mr Bayliss, in accepting the award from Mr Warwick Gibbs, a long-time teacher at MAGS who became a friend of Mr Bayliss's family.
"I can't understate how important education is. The philosophy that MAGS imparted to me still motivates me to continue to strive for excellence, and to take opportunities to help change people's lives for the better."
Mr Bayliss works closely with Richard Branson in a range of areas, from overseeing billions of dollars worth of investments, to the development of the Virgin brand, to extending Virgin enterprises to include elements of health and education that benefit employees and the public.
Successful MAGS alumnus Chris Liddell spoke of building a culture of philanthropy when he helped launch the MAGS Foundation on Thursday, 20 March.
Held at the Northern Club in central Auckland, the dinner evening was attended by notable former students of the school, the MAGS Foundation Board, MAGS Board of Trustees members, senior staff, school supporters and parents.
Mr Liddell, who with his brother John donated $1 million to the Foundation earlier this year, was a keynote speaker at the launch along with Headmaster Mr Dale Burden.
"A culture of philanthropy is important for New Zealand's future," said Mr Liddell. "MAGS has never been in better heart - what Dale and the leadership team is doing is magnificent - and I can't think of a better place in which to invest, or a better time than now. I would not have been as successful without experiencing the school's culture of excellence."
Mr Liddell is a former CFO of Microsoft and General Motors in America, and is now the Chairman of Xero, the New Zealand accounting technology company, and of the Next Foundation, funding educational and environmental projects in this country.
Mr Burden gave a presentation outlining the progress the school was making in a variety of areas, and the importance of support from its alumni and wider community to continue to improve the education for which it is sought after. More photos here
The Annual Inter-College Old Boys Golf Tournament was held on Friday, 14 March at the Pukekohe Golf Club.
The event, sponsored by Waste Management Ltd, saw 28 school teams of four competing. It has been played for the past 18 years. Three of the players in each team must be old boys of the school they're representing, with one ring-in allowed. Our team of four comprised (in age order) Ken McKinley, Paul Teamoke and John Johnson, with the outsider being 2 handicapper Ross Valentine (ex St Kents).
Based on stableford (3 or the 4 scores counting) the winner was Sacred Heart 1, with the MAGS team finishing a creditable 2nd. Sacred Heart 2 came 3rd and Tamaki College 4th. Cheques were presented for handing to the schools, in the form of $1000 to the winner, $750 for 2nd and $500 for third.
Paul Teamoke played the shot of the day, a wonderful 2nd shot at the par five, 1st hole, which went into the hole. For non-golfers this is called an albatross, and is far more rare than a hole-in-one. Perhaps one player in a thousand might achieve that in their golfing career.
We are not sure whether MAGS has entered this tournament previously, but it is hoped that we can muster up a second team for 2015. All in all it was a great day, and the camaraderie between the teams was outstanding. Roll on 2015.
Albertian Albert Walker has received excellent reviews in the lead role of
Pericles, Prince of Tyre, for the University of Auckland's Summer Shakespeare of 2014.
Reviewer Paul Simei-Barton wrote in the NZ Herald that "Albert Walker brings a fine clarity of diction to his Pericles ..." You can read the review here
As a student at MAGS he did the same in a number of performances. One notable role was that of Alfred Ill in the school's 2007 production of Fredrick Durrenmatts play The Visit.
He is seen here with Jenna Erkkila who played small-town-girl-made-good Clair Zaccanassian, back with a vengeance. She outrages the town by offering "a million" if anyone will killer her former lover Alfred. Alfred turns from a highly-regarded happy-go-lucky shop-keeper to a haunted shadow of himself as the town turns against him.
Albert played Alfred with an understanding beyond his years. We wish him success for his future acting career.
Parents and members of the MAGS community are welcome to purchase tickets to attend a reunion dinner and hear from the 2014 Albertian of the Year, Mr Josh Bayliss, CEO of Virgin Group.
Mr Bayliss is travelling from his base in Geneva especially for the occasion. He has been working for Virgin for nine years, and is part of a team responsible for managing Richard Branson's family investments worth several billion pounds across the various Virgin companies, and controlling how the Virgin brand is developed, applied and seen.
His award will be presented at the annual Albertians' Association Reunion Dinner.
If you wish to attend please contact Tim Kay, Director of Advancement, MAGS Foundation on 09 815 4034, or email@example.com
The evening will be a great opportunity to learn more about the role of the MAGS Foundation, meet other distinguished Albertians, and hear from one of most internationally successful former students.
Jack Scahill, a Year 13 student in 2013 who passed NCEA Agriculture and Horticulture at Scholarship level, has been awarded a DairyNZ Scholarship to study at Lincoln University this year.
The Scholarship will pay for Jack's formal tuition fees up to a value of $5750. He is about to start studying for a Bachelor of Science degree, following three years of agriculture education on the MAGS farm with the Head of Agricultural Science, Mrs Michelle Farmer.
"The success of Jack in being selected is a great achievement and a wonderful testament to the quality of education at the school," says Susan Stokes, the Industry Education Facilitator for DairyNZ Ltd.
The industry body granted 59 scholarships to students taking degrees in agriculture or related subjects who had a particular interest in a career in the dairy industry. The scholarships are funded through the industry good levy allocated by Dairy NZ.
"This significant support to outstanding young scholars is part of the dairy industry's determination to encourage the best people into the industry as future research scientists, farm advisers, farm managers, farm owners and rural professionals," says Ms Stokes.
Scholarship winners are mentored and supported through their university years, and can expect to gain employment in a variety of positions, either on-farm or supporting the dairy industry.
MAGS congratulates Jack and wishes him well in his future career.
Albertian Matthew Battley is the 2013 Xterra Trail Running Junior (U20) World Champion after completing a grueling 21km circuit in Hawaii in an impressive time of 1hr 29:57 on 24 November.
Matthew, who completed his schooling at MAGS in 2012, was the first New Zealander home, and overall finished 8 th in a field of more than 800 runners from around the world.
The World Championship course at Kualoa Ranch on the main Hawaiian island of Oahu skirts tropical rain forest and mountains, made famous by movies such as Jurassic Park. Matthew also had to contend with steep mountain climbs and descents, as well as intense tropical heat and humidity. He is pictured below second from left with fellow Kiwi competitors Mark Battley (his father) and Leah and Nick Hirschfeld.
While at school Matthew was in the MAGS Distance Team and won the 2012 Auckland Xterra Trail Series. He won again this year, and his Albertians' Team, called the MAGSnificent, won the Team competition. Matt went on to win his division of the Xterra National Trail Championships in Waihi on October 19, making him New Zealand Under 20 Trail Running Champion. He placed second overall in all divisions.
MAGS congratulates Matthew on his latest outstanding success.
John Massy Stacpoole was inducted into the Mount Albert Grammar School Hall of Distinction on October 14.
Mr Stacpoole, a noted heritage architect, historian, author and philanthropist, was made made an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) for his work in the conservation of historic buildings.
The Hall of Distinction honours Albertians for their community achievements. Members include artist Sir Peter Siddell, gold medal runner Sir Peter Snell and judge Mick Brown.
Mr Stacpoole, pictured with Board of Trustees Chairman Mr Greg Moyle, attended MAGS from 1932-1935, excelling academically and representing the school in middle-distance running and in the Hockey First XI, before heading to the University of Auckland to gain a degree in architecture.
Mr Stacpoole went on to supervise the restoration of many of New Zealand's historic buildings, including the Waimate Mission House, Government House in Auckland and Alberton. A more detailed summary of his career and philanthropy is here.
In receiving his induction from Mr Moyle at assembly on 14 October, Mr Stacpoole said he greatly valued the distinction.
"One can receive awards and commendations as one goes through life, but one's old school is very special indeed. I only have to look at the other people who have been inducted into this Hall to know what an honour this is."
Mr Stacpoole also had a message for the students witnessing his induction.
"You are at the beginnings of your lives and I am very near to the end of mine, but I will just tell you this. Let your talents work for you, work for them, have good friends and a little bit of ambition, and you'll come right."
On 26 September, 2013, a number of distinguished old boys gathered at School House for the 40 th anniversary Quarterly Lunch. Graham Burgess (pictured left), who attended the first lunch at the Newmarket Club, was among them, as was former Headmaster Greg Taylor.
Football coach Kevin Fallon gave a speech about the success of MAGS' football academy programme, and the number of national and international players who have sprung from it. First XI player Liam Jordan also spoke well about the past season, and life at School House as a boarder.
More photos here
Teams that won gold last week at the World Youth Netball Cup held in Glasgow, and the Under-23 Underwater Hockey World Championships in Hungary, included MAGS students who graduated last year.
In the netball final on Saturday, 31 August, New Zealand beat Australia 52-47. Among the players were Erikana Pedersen and Nadia Loveday, two stars of MAGS' Premier team in 2012.
The under-23 underwater hockey team also played Australia in their final on 29 August, beating them 4-2. The New Zealand team included Danyon Kemp (pictured right) and Matt Trevalyan, who played for MAGS until last year. Danyon is still with us as coach of the Premier girls' team. Also in the New Zealand team were Albertians Cali Manly (2006-2011) and Logan Kemp (2004-2008).
Jordan Smith, a student at MAGS from 2004-2006, has won the 2013 Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer of the Year award. Jordan, 22, grew up in West Auckland but says he always wanted to be a farmer, so applied to attend the only Auckland school that had a farm on its campus, Mt Albert Grammar.
He studied Agriculture with Mrs Farmer in years 10 and 11, and in a Radio New Zealand interview says those studies "ignited a passion for farming." Farm manager Larnie Palmer remembers Jordan as a quiet boy who "grew and grew" during his time at the school. More ...
Congratulations to Albertian Steven Luatua on his stunning first full-game performance in last Saturday's test against Australia.
New Zealand Herald Article
Several of New Zealand's top men and women have been honoured in this year's Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards.
Acknowledging inspiring leaders from all walks of life, the awards were established in honour of the late Sir Peter Blake, widely regarded as one of New Zealand's most recognised leaders.
At a ceremony in the Auckland Town Hall last night, Judge Michael "Mick" Brown was awarded the premium award, the Blake Medal by Lady Pippa Blake, Sir Peter's widow and patron of the trust.
It is with sadness that we inform you of the recent passing of celebrated jazz musician Murray McNabb. Click here for an excellent article in the New Zealand Listener about the notable Albertian
Albertian Portia Woodman has been in outstanding form during the World Cup Sevens tournament in Moscow. During the final, after which Portia was named the top try scorer of the tournament, she scored two tries to contribute to the winning score of 29-12 over Canada.
On Saturday 22 June, 2013, Steven Luatua (at school 2005-2009) made his All Black debut in the third test match against France at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth. The All Blacks won the match 24-9 and won the test series 3-0.
Twenty-two year old Steven is Mount Albert Grammar Schools 14th All Black and the 1121st All Black to represent New Zealand. He is also the 121st Albertian to reach National Sporting Honours and his name will go up onto the Honours Board on the stage in the FW Gamble Hall during the July holidays. The number 21 features strongly in Stevens list of achievements. Steven was a member of the AKSS winning MAGS rugby team in 2007 and 2009.
The Mount Albert Grammar School All Blacks are:
Victor Butler, 1928, 1 match
Ronald Bush, 1931, 1 test
Dave Solomon, 1935-1936, 8 matches
Mick Bremner, 1952-56, 2 tests, 16 matches
Rod Heeps, 1962, 5 tests, 5 matches
Ron Urlich, 1970-73, 2 tests, 33 matches
Bryan Williams, 1970-78, 38 tests, 75 matches
Mark Brooke-Cowden, 1986-87, 3 tests, 3 matches
Joe Stanley, 1986-91, 27 tests 22 matches
Matthew Ridge, 1989, 6 matches
Olo Brown, 1990-98, 56 tests, 13 matches
Andrew Blowers, 1996-99, 11 tests, 7 matches
Sonny Bill Williams, 2010, 19 tests
Steven Luatua, 2013, 1 test
In the Queen's Birthday Honours 2013 it was announced that Bryan Williams (1962-1967) had been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to rugby.
His rugby playing career had it genesis in Eugene Cheriton's First XV teams. He also played cricket for the First XI, was Senior Athletics Champion for two years, a prefect for two years and Victor Ludorum in 1967.
His All Black career took off in spectacular fashion in the 1970 tour of South Africa. He played 113 All Black matches including 38 tests, at a time when there were fewer tests than in the professional era. His last game in the black jersey was against the Barbarians in late 1978. He scored a try, his 65 th as an All Black. He was named Player of the Decade by a panel of rugby writers in 1980.
Bryan's work as an administrator for the game has been prodigious (not a word he himself would use). He has coached many teams, most notably Manu Samoa, he has been a tireless worker for the Ponsonby Rugby Club and recently retired from his position as Director of the School's Rugby Academy where he nurtured junior players.
He was appointed President of the New Zealand Rugby Union in 2011.
Bryan, who is a qualified lawyer and practiced as a sole solicitor, was created a Member of the British Empire in 1980 for services to (no surprise) rugby. His new award is two notches above that.
Read more 2013 news about Albertians here
Dear Albertians, Parents and Friends of the School,
You can contribute to the ongoing development of the School in many ways.
Giving to the Foundation will provide funds for the development and improvement of the school facilities for current and future generations of students.
Each of us has benefited, either directly or indirectly, from the educational opportunities that Mount Albert Grammar School has to offer. Now is our time to act for the benefit of present and future students.
The Foundation will support the School in many ways that would not otherwise be achievable through operational funding from the Ministry of Education, e.g.
- special staffing assistance awards
- special purpose projects and activities
You can support Mount Albert Grammar School by making a tax-deductible donation to the foundation and by participating in the Foundation's Bequest Programme, which will enable you to leave a lasting legacy for the benefit of the School for future generations.
Mr Tim Kay
Director of Advancement
Mount Albert Grammar School Foundation
Phone: (09) 8154 034
Mobile: 021 636803
(09) 8642 042
Mount Albert Grammar School
Click here to download the 2013 Albertians membership form.
There are two initiatives you may wish to consider. We are looking for Albertians who would be prepared to mentor students. The School is also building a register of Albertians who have businesses with products and services the School could potentially use.
Click here for more details.
Past students are encouraged to join the Albertians Association which organises several events and initiatives each year.
Each year, a prominent ex-pupil is honoured by the Association for significant community service or professional or sporting achievement. Past winners have included current Chairman of the Board of Trustees Greg Moyle, novelist, poet and critic C.K. Stead, All Black Olo Brown and Brian Murphy the School Archivist.
In addition, the Hall of Distinction was established in 1997 as part of the 75th Jubilee celebrations. Membership of the Hall is an honour for past masters of the school who have significantly contributed to the spirit of the School and to Albertians in recognition of their efforts and achievements in the community. More...
Please remember, past students are always welcome to visit the School. Brian Murphy, the School Archivist, will be happy to show you around all the new facilities.
If you have any news of fellow Albertians or memorabilia you would like the School to have, please pass these on to Brian Murphy. We are always on the lookout for information on our past pupils.
All members of the association may receive the school's biannial magazine The Lion. The Lion includes Corridors, news of the